How to know when to splurge or bargain

Never wear just one designer

An entire outfit of Chanel or Dior sounds tempting, but would look over the top, and may even scream Old Lady or she does not know how to dress. Pulling together an outfit of high and low price labels is so much more interesting and stylish. An efficient way to create a balanced high-medium-low price label wardrobe on a budget is to recognize a bargain and to know when to splurge, which may even occur at the same time.

#fashionover40 mature woman in inexpensive mesh skirt and high quality top
Layering top c/o Adea with layered mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store and own DIY statement belt, Hermes collier de chien cuff, and Via Spiga slingbacks
#styleover40 mature outfit with mesh skirt trend
Layered mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store with classic layering top c/o Adea with own Via Spiga slingbacks and DIY statement belt

Example: Trend bargain

Trendy items are rarely worth a splurge unless they have the potential to become a collector item ten or more years from now. Think of the MOSCHINO belt of the 80s. At the moment, the tulle/mesh skirts (see photos) are hot. Who knows when they will have had their moment? I love this Lookbook Store mesh skirt and its price is low enough ($19) to get it down to less than a dollar per wear in just one summer season.

#over40fashion mixing splurge and bargain items in one outfit for ageless style
Mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store over classic layering to c/o Adea with own Jaeger tote, Lookbook Store leather motorcycle blazer and Via Spiga slingbacks

Shopping tip

You can rarely go wrong when you divide the price by the number of an honest estimate of how often you will wear an item. The resulting cost-per-wear should be lower or equal to your threshold value. My targets are one to two dollars per wear for trendy items like a mesh skirt and small bargain splurge items. My target for very expensive splurges is to get the cost-per-wear down to less than a dollar over the years.

#fashionover50 mixing cheap and expensive items in an outfit
Side view of Lookbook Store leather motorcycle jacket to show leather belt and collar details, Via Spiga blush patent leather slingbacks (all own), layered mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store, and layering top c/o Adea

Example: Classic splurge

Classic items that have the potential to last several seasons, or items that you can wear in three seasons, are worth to spend more money. Classic pumps, winter boots, solid cashmere sweaters, a LBD, a trench coat, or the motorcyle leather jacket shown in the OOTD, fall in this class. I bought the jacket for $151 and will wear it fall to spring – both included.

Example: A bargain to splurge on

A bargain to splurge on is your personal It item that is still expensive when on sale with respect to your budget, but you saved for it and you intend to wear it for years to come. For instance, a Chanel bag that is 20% off. If you wear this bag every day for four to five years it will get down to less than a dollar per wear. Thus, a $1000 bag can be cheaper than having the trendy bag of the season each season. It’s up to you to decide.

#styleover50 outfit with a mix of classic splurge and bargain trendy items
Front view of outfit with high and low price items. DIY statement belt with Via Spiga slingbacks, Jaeger tote, Lookbook Store leather jacket (all own), classic layering top c/o Adea and trendy layered mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store

Do the math! Know when to splurge and/or bargain! Tweet about this.

For other ways how I styled the mesh skirt see my posts Learn when not to add a pop of color and layered mesh skirt – a mother of pearl and ballet dream.

Do you have additional criteria for when to splurge and/or bargain? Do you like to shop sales? Are you a bargain hunter? What was you best splurge ever? What’s your shopping challenge? Let me know by sending me an email so I can help you with a post.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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